Navigation Links
United States Files Complaint Against Forest Laboratories for Allegedly Violating the False Claims Act
Date:2/25/2009

Pharmaceutical Company Allegedly Marketed Drugs

for Unapproved Pediatric Use and Paid Kickbacks

WASHINGTON, Feb. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A Complaint was unsealed today in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts against a New York pharmaceutical company for alleged False Claims Act violations arising from the company's marketing the drugs Celexa and Lexapro for unapproved pediatric use and for paying kickbacks to induce physicians to prescribe the drugs.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Michael F. Hertz; United States Attorney Michael J. Sullivan; Warren T. Bamford, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation -- Boston Field Division; Susan J. Waddell, Special Agent in Charge of Health and Human Services -- Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations; Mark Dragonetti, Resident Agent in Charge of the Food and Drug Administration, Office of Investigations -- Office of Inspector General; and Jeffrey Hughes, Special Agent in Charge of the Northeast Field Office of the Veterans Affairs Office of the Inspector General, announced that the civil Complaint against Forest Laboratories Inc., of New York, New York, alleged that the company's illegal promotional practices surrounding its antidepressant drugs Celexa and Lexapro caused thousands of false and fraudulent claims to be submitted to federal health care programs.

The Complaint alleges that a double-blind, placebo-controlled, pediatric trial found Celexa no more effective than the placebo for pediatric use and that, in the study, more patients taking Celexa attempted suicide or reported suicidal thoughts than those in the group taking the placebo. The negative efficacy data led the FDA to deny Forest's request to approve Celexa for pediatric use. It is further alleged that, despite the FDA's denial of a pediatric indication, Forest actively promoted pediatric use of the drugs and misled physicians and the public by failing to disclose the results of the negative study. The same study was among those later considered by the FDA when it mandated that Forest add a "black box" warning to both the Celexa and Lexapro labels.

The Complaint alleges that Forest sought to induce physicians and others to prescribe Celexa and Lexapro by providing them with various forms of illegal remuneration, including cash payments disguised as grants or consulting fees, expensive meals and lavish entertainment and other valuable goods and services, all in violation of the federal anti-kickback statute.

Neither Medicaid nor TRICARE ordinarily cover drugs for off-label uses unless the off-label use is for a medically accepted indication. The United States alleges that federal health care programs have paid thousands of false and fraudulent claims for Celexa and Lexapro prescriptions that were not covered for off-label pediatric use and/or were ineligible for payment as a result of illegal kickbacks paid by Forest.

Prior to filing its Complaint, the government had intervened in two separate whistleblower actions against Forest that had been commenced under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act. The False Claims Act allows for private persons to file whistleblower suits to provide the government information about wrongdoing. Under the statute, if it is established that a person has submitted or caused others to submit false or fraudulent claims to the United States, the government can recover treble damages and $5,500 to $11,000 for each false or fraudulent claim filed. If the Government is successful in resolving or litigating its claims, a proper whistleblower can receive a share of between 15 percent and 25 percent of the amount recovered.

This investigation was conducted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts, the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services, the Office of Criminal Investigations of the Food and Drug Administration and the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Veteran's Affairs.


'/>"/>
SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis Launches Aggressive Ad Campaign Directed at United States Congress
2. United States continues to have highest level of health spending
3. United Medicorp, Inc.s Shareholders Approve All Proposals
4. Proven Terumo Coronary Guidewire Technology Is Now Available in the United States
5. Medical Services International Received Its First Order for Testing By Regulatory Agencies in the United States
6. Peoples United Financial CEO Has Surgery
7. Statement by Mike Leavitt Secretary of Health and Human Services on the United States-China Bilateral Meetings on Food and Drug Safety
8. More Than 100 Organizations Call for a National AIDS Strategy to End the Epidemic in the United States
9. Akers Biosciences, Inc. ABI or the Company Receipt of Further United States Military Contracts
10. Universal Health Care Coverage in the United States
11. Women Deliver Conference to Feature United Nations Leaders
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2016)... D.C. (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... discuss health policy issues and applications at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, ... their work on several important health care topics including advance care planning, healthcare ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. ... his M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in ... to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic events may suffer ... unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. To avoid ... healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel a range ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... now offering micro-osteoperforation for accelerated orthodontic treatment. Dr. Cheng has extensive experience with ... Damon brackets , AcceleDent, and accelerated osteogenic orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation is a ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... The Haute Beauty Network, affiliated with ... as a prominent plastic surgeon and the network’s newest partner. , Dr. ... handsome men, look naturally attractive. Plastic surgery should be invisible.” He stands by ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Any dentist who has made an implant supported ... Many of them do not even offer this as a ... laboratory costs involved. And those who ARE able to offer ... high cost that the majority of today,s patients would not ... Zadeh , founder of Dental Evolutions Inc. and inventor of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... CAPR ), a biotechnology company focused on the ... announced that patient enrollment in its ongoing randomized ... has exceeded 50% of its 24-patient target. Capricor ... the third quarter of 2016, and to report ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016  Astellas today announced the establishment of Astellas Farma Colombia (AFC), a new affiliate with operations headquartered in ... America . ... ... ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: